About this Blog

This blog is aimed at those of us who want to keep up with the newest developments in evaluation, and who want to push its boundaries so that evaluation can contribute successfully to sustainable development worldwide.

The blog has a special focus on issues affecting the Global South.

It is here where it is most difficult to enable and sustain development; where the vibrancy and resilience of ecosystems and societies are most inspirational, yet the destruction the greatest; and where nature is at its most awe-inspiring and most devastating. It is here where good evaluation – from local to global level – can make the greatest difference.

At the moment I focus on six topics of interest:

Development, SDGs & Transformation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the importance of systems thinking, using complexity science, and working towards transformative development. Evaluation specialists have the obligation to promote these very important priorities.

Evaluating Science. I have a PhD in Chemistry and was a senior manager in a major university and science council in South Africa. I therefore have a special interest in evaluating science in support of its role in advancing the world. Much has to improve in how this is being done.

Culture and Evaluation. We not only have to respect and do our best to understand other cultures. We have to ask ourselves what evaluation would have looked like if it was invented in Africa, or in the East, or by indigenous tribes across the world.

South-South Cooperation. We need to understand better whether and if so, how evaluation by, in and between the South differs from approaches and models that originated in the North. This requires a focus on both (i) evaluating South-South Cooperation (SSC), and (ii) encouraging South to South Evaluation (S2SE) initiatives.

Evaluation as Profession. Our obsession with “methods” and “tools” should be changed into an obsession with what we need to do to make the profession fulfil its implicit promise – and its responsibility – to make the world a better place. This is also where evaluators’ Top Tips are shared with Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEEs).

Random Snippets. A series of snippets – short posts – will help us to keep track of interesting developments and debates in evaluation from around the world, from concepts and ideas to methods and other technical issues.

So the posts in each of these topics will capture my observations, and occasionally those of others, as I continue my work across four continents – standing sometimes in desperation, but mostly in awe at the wonder of our world, and at the challenges before us.